Before we further delve into the message I intend to pass across, let me dwell a little bit on how important this word ‘leadership’ means for a world that is in constant need of direction and a of course exceptional leadership. One of my best quotes on it remains one by Napoleon Bonaparte; a leader is a dealer in hope. It is simple, straight to the point but with a latent and powerful message.
If we all as humans are left to live the way we like or decide what is right for us and what is not right for us, then we would unprecedented disorders, chaos and mayhem everywhere; on the streets, schools, churches, mosques, workplaces, car parks and a lot more. So today we have laws and people are (s) elected to make these laws, enforce them and to ensure that others are made to do what it right, not against their will but willingly. In essence, a leader has a responsibility of not only to make laws or enforce them but to inspire people to have a reason to willingly adhere to these laws.
John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. That’s huge because you have to be willing to do that which you expect others to do, you have to lead your life in such a way that inspires others, people can learn from it, and can become better by it.
John C. Maxwell gives us this definition, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” This to me means that with the challenges of the world increasing each day, a leader needs to be one that is able to take us out of those challenges. He needs to be everything in one; he needs to be deep, knowledgeable, creative, innovative, flexible and adaptive enough for all situations. You have to as a leader justify the reason why you were elected to lead hundreds, thousands or millions of people by what you are able to bring on the table.
Have established that, let me take you to the word of scriptures in Psalms 78:72 which says that, “So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands”.
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Integrity and Skill
These two are key with integrity focusing on feeding them. If one lacks in integrity he will do things that don’t benefit those he is leading. Integrity focuses on the heart for people, the love you have for them, your longing to see things change for them and of course that will reflect in your actions. There is no need having a leader who thinks his position places him in a position of unaccountability.
The other side of it being skillfulness now talks about capacity and competence to do the work at hand. Is not enough to have integrity and goodwill as a leader; that has to be backed up with the capacity and ability to lead and meet the challenges of your time as a leader. The way leadership is these days is such that as a leader one must be knowledgeable in so many areas, you have to prove your worth by what skill and ability you have. You weren’t chosen to lead because of goodwill or integrity alone, you were chosen because it is believed you can do the job.
To further underscore the high standard placed on leadership, Alexander the Great took it further by saying, “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” If the leader defaults on his part, then the followers and subjects will be affected and at the end you find failure on the part of the leader and those being led.
For leadership to be complete and comprehensive a leader with skill must have integrity and the one with integrity must build the capacity to lead as well.